Yum Brands whiffs on sales as fewer people eat at Pizza Hut

Yum Brands Inc, the owner of KFC and Taco Bell, reported a lower-than-expected rise in quarterly sales at established restaurants worldwide as fewer diners ate at its Pizza Hut chain.

Sales at restaurants open for at least one year rose 1 per cent in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a 2.1 per cent rise analysts polled by Consensus Metrix had expected.

Last year, the company spun off Yum Brands Holdings after struggling to grow sales for reasons ranging from tensions in the South China Sea to Pizza Hut’s marketing strategy.

“By being more focused, more franchised and more efficient, we will strengthen and grow our KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands around the world, creating significant long-term value for all our stakeholders,” said CEO Greg Creed in the earnings statement.

Shares of Yum Brands were little changed after the earnings release on Thursday. Over the past year, they have gained about 6%.

(Reuters reporting by Richa Naidu in Bengaluru; Edited by Martina D’Couto)

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